Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Favorite Too-Many-Feels Romances

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Do you know that today is Valentine's Day? I actually hadn't even noticed. I'm usually on top of posting something cute and OTP related for the week but it never even crossed my mind. So instead of writing a post about Facebook statuses your favorite OTPs will be giving each other or some awesome love triangles, I'm giving you my favorite romances that definitely give me too many feels.

Top Ten Tuesday is created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is: Top Ten Favorite Too-Many-Feels Romances.

feelings muse starlight too many feels brb dead

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (9/10/13): A coming of age story with a romance that will have you begging for more. Levi is an unexpected favorite, accepting the good and bad of Fangirl's protagonist.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (11/4/14): A romance that spans across dimensions. They obviously belong together, don't they? Each dimension contains pieces (about a thousand of them, maybe) of their lives-- some together, some not. However, you will be routing for a happy ending in every single world.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (12/2/10): This is one of my all-time favorite contemps. There's just something about a friend to romance that gives me some major feels. I will forever ship Anna and Etienne. It's pure magic with some drama sprinkled in.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (1/28/14): She was born to kill her betrothed. So, why does he have to be so nice to her? And why does he have to be so evil, it seems, to the rest of the world? Can't we all just get along and save the world?

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (8/25/09): Before shipping OTPs were cool, Dimitri and Rose were meant to be. A forbidden romance just got way more complicated when Dimitri goes to the dark side. Rose sets out to kill him but finds herself in love with him still. This book requires several breaks so you can breathe through the feels.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (7/2/13): At first, this looks like your common romance. It's ridden with cliches that make you swoon but West adds some fresh drama that makes you rethink. It'll most definitely be crushing you with the feels by the end.

Reawakened by Colleen Houck (8/11/15): A relationship doomed from the start. After all, he is a walking-mummy who has to go back into his tomb some time. However, there's a sequel so their romance must survive, right? Right!?

Winter by Marissa Meyer (11/10/15): It's the finale to The Lunar Chronicles, an epic series that has multiple ships where I have way too many feelings (well, never too many). Just the end of the series is enough for anyone to fall into a pile of feels and possibly never get up again.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (1/5/16): Yes! A pirate who is such a gentleman and a violinist who has some major spunk. With constant lies and possible betrayal occurring, it's difficult to not fall for these two.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (4/15/14): A pretend romance becomes a big deal when the obvious happens and they may be falling for each other. But I thought she liked the other guy. I thought her pretend- boyfriend was a jerk. I was wrong. Too many feelings.

Which books give you all the romance feels?

book review

The Sequel That Fell Short | Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Friday, February 10, 2017

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 2/9/16
Pages: 444
Source: purchased
Add It: Goodreads

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. 

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

In Red Queen, Mare became a Red pretend-princess in a sea of Silver. She is Red and Silver both, an in-between who beholds power but possesses red blood. It was nothing the palace has ever since before. In Glass Sword, Mare swaps her palace garb for trekking gear. She becomes a leader of a rebellion instead of a princess living a lie. She and the Red Guard fight together against their enemy. After discovering more people are both Red and Silver—different, just like Mare—Mare is out to find them. She gives them a choice: die or join. In the end, Mare realizes what she has become. She doesn’t even have a choice anymore.

I will try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible but, you know, sometimes I get so overwhelmed about so many awesome things and something slips (I will keep that to a minimum), but seriously, if you haven’t read Red Queen yet, what are you waiting for?  Red Queen is the stepping stone to this wild ride.

Sequels are always hard to face. Readers go in with high expectations and usually, they leave disappointed. I admit I had high expectations going into Glass Sword. Also, I admit not all of those expectations were met. As a sequel, Glass Sword falls short. It is not a magnificent sequel and some parts dragged on. The plot was nothing spectacular and if I’m being totally honest (which I am), it was a bit repetitive. The mission of the plot was to secure several people from the list and recruit them. Think about what that means. As a plot, the act of going to a town, retrieving the person from the list, recruiting them, and then bringing them back to camp is not extremely exciting. Think about recruiting several people then. The act got a bit boring. I hate to say that because Red Queen was one of my favorite books of 2015 but it’s true. Glass Sword, as a sequel, fell short.

As a book, which doesn’t follow Red Queen (because the first was so good, it would have been a miracle to top it), Glass Sword does fantastic. Besides the plot being repetitive, the character development allows for some amazing swoon-worthy scenes.

As usual, Victoria Aveyard hits it out the park with her gorgeous, strong writing. I mentioned my deep love for her writing in my Red Queen review. But I can say it again. For the excitement lacking in the plot, she definitely makes up for in her unbelievable writing.

Not to mention (okay, let’s mention it), Aveyard throws readers into a giant feels-boat by the end of the novel. No matter what you feel about the plot, in general, by the end of the novel, Aveyard is already setting up the beginning of the next book. The ending scene is not a cliffhanger, so much as it is a heart-wrencher. Why, Victoria Aveyard; I thought you liked us? In all serious-ness, readers will definitely have trouble waiting for the sequel (which released 2/7/17). Aveyard forces you to love these characters with her superb writing and gorgeous development and then… well, then I can’t tell you because I promised no spoilers.

Overall, Glass Sword is a good addition to Victoria Aveyard’s series. It doesn’t top Red Queen but it certainly pulls at readers’ heartstrings. Despite its repetitive plot, Aveyard moves the story forward with beautiful character development and hard-to-put-down writing. The ending will not only leave you wanting more, but it will leave you shattered. This sequel to Red Queen will have you crossing off the days until the next in the series.

Red Queen (2/10/15): 5 stars
Glass Sword (2/9/16): 5 stars
King's Cage (2/7/17): TBA

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I Wish Had More Sword Fights in Them

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

After closing the book and thinking about what to write in your review, don't you ever get that feeling that the characters should have clashed more swords? No? Just me. Sword fights are awesome, a great way to add some intense action sequences to the plot. Here's a list of all the books I think should have had more sword fights in them-- or sword fights in them at all.

Top Ten Tuesday is created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is: Top Ten Books I Wish Had More/Less of ____ in Them.

the princess bride

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (4/28/15): There are pirates and there is a fight. I want more.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (10/12/10): There's plenty of action with this time travel adventure. But more sword fights are definitely in order.

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman (2/9/16): I put this one on the list even though I haven't read it yet. Many people have said it is a retelling of a famous pirate but with limited pirates. Does that mean no sword fights? Every pirate book should have a least one good sword fight. I think it's required.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (4/5/16): This book has the entire premise that could hold a great sword fight. Yet, when the climax hits it is with guns and knives and just no. Instead of dragging people facedown into a nearby stream, it would have been much cooler to see some sword fights in the midst of all this drama.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (10/20/15): Sword fights in space. Need I say more?

Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman (6/28/16): There was a fantastic sword fight action sequence but Eleanor Herman is a master of writing action and weaving history into fiction. I would be so happy to see at least 5 more epic sword fights in her books, let's hope for that in the next book.

The Selection by Kiera Cass (4/24/12): There is quite a bit of action in this series, but of another sort (ahem). Every time the rebels come to town, all the characters duck and cover. I say there is definite room to add an amazing sword fight into the mix of the Bachelor TV show.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (11/4/14): There is an action sequence where the countess is running away in the woods from gun shots. Imagine if the group of people were after her with bloody swords in hand. She couldn't outrun them forever. What would our dear Paul Markov do then?

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (1/5/16): We get a very small glimpse of mayhem in the beginning. Nicholas is a legal pirate, after all. Instead of small glimpse of fights on deck, I want sword fights of epic proportions.

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper (10/4/06): Vampires + Pirates = Sword Fights Necessary

Which books were you hoping to have more sword fights?

book review

Little Bit of Love, Whole Lot of Gelato | Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Friday, February 03, 2017

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Pages: 389
Source: received by publisher in exchange for honest review
Add It: Goodreads
“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
At her mother’s last request, Lina is shipped off to Italy to meet the father she never knew about.  In discovering her mother’s journal, Lina follows her mother’s adventures in Italy. She realizes a whole new side of her mother, she never before saw. Tracking down her mother’s old friends and professors, Lina uncovers a secret about her true father. Through her adventure in Italy, she begins to feel closer to her mother than ever before.

This is a summer read you won’t want to miss. The drama, the romance, and the taste-testing of gelato is enough to make any romance reader jump right into this wild plot. Plus, it’s set in Italy: the most romantic country in the world. Love and Gelato will not only make you fall in love, but also make you go buy tons of gelato, hoping for a taste of Jenna Evans Welch’s Italy.

food dessert gelato

The drama was fantastic. It was a soap opera at its best. Who’s the father? Who is lying? Should she believe him? These questions are a few of several the reader will ask. To find the answers, readers must keep reading. It’s a memorable plot which is told in a fresh light.

Love and Gelato is marketed as a romance and there is romance. It’s adorable. I found, the real story to be about the drama though. In fact, the romance blossoms between Lina, the protagonist, and a boy she meets in Italy. By way of a timeline, they’ve only known each other less than a week. After noting this, I found the romance to be way too rushed and a bit unbelievable.  

Readers will be able to easily predict what happens next and who gets with whom.  The characters are written in two categories: characters with depth, who readers can tell significant plot points will happen to them, and flat characters. For example, Lina meets several people at a party she attends and Welch starts introducing names which I will never remember. Welch makes it too easy to guess what is about to happen.

However, Love and Gelato is a fun summer read. Welch gives it a fresh perspective, twisting drama into a basic summer romance plot. Despite being predictable, readers will still fall in love with the many characters—including the relatable character, Lina—and escape to Italy to find out what Lina’s mother was trying to tell her. Love and Gelato is the perfect equation for your next summer romance. Readers can’t go wrong with a little bit of love and whole lot of gelato.

kickin' it

Kickin' In: January 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

Kickin’ It is a feature at The Bucket List where I round-up the whole month in one post, bringing you reviews you may have missed, other awesome bookish things, and even what I’m currently obsessed with in other media besides books.  Can you believe that January is over? It only seemed like yesterday which we welcomed in the new year. For me, it started a bit rough but I'm working on getting into the swing of things. Here's the cool things that happened this month:

Just One Year by Gayle Forman (5 stars):  Just One Year truly takes readers through a whirlwind of places on an adventure to find love.  It will have you asking for more and rereading its companion novel, Just One Day.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (4 stars): Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is a fantastical adventure, delving into a clever hunt for the lost astrolabe. Fans of time travel will certainly love this new series and begin counting down the days to the next installment. This fast, amazing tale will have readers begging for answers.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (1/17/17): Veronica Roth, author of the best-selling Divergent series, brings a whole new book to the table. I don't know much about it except it's getting mixed reviews. It is also set in space, a galaxy far away, and people have special gifts.

Flame the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (5/16/17): Who else needs a retelling of Mulan in their life?

Bang by Barry Lyga (4/18/17): I can't wait for this one. Barry Lyga, author of the I Hunt Killers series, is one of my favorite authors of all time. In recent years, his books have been hit or miss with me but I'm hoping for the best with Bang.

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard (2/7/17): I already have this one preordered-- and I have never preordered anything in my life-- but I knew I will need it right as the book hits the shelves. When I start thinking about the cliffhanger Glass Sword had, the size of a whole mountain, I start to hyperventilate so I'm trying to stay calm until this one is in my hands to begin making predictions on what will be happening next to my favorite characters.

How was your January?